A road trip party!
We've got Fitz and Marcus, and that motivational wonder boy Parry, so let's get this nasty road trip from hell started!
SAN JOSE STATE: 2002 Schedule
Aug 31 Arkansas State (@ Little Rock)
Sept 7 @ Washington
Sept 14 @ Stanford
Sept 21 @ Illinois
Sept 28 UTEP
Oct 5 @ SMU
Oct 12 @ Ohio State
Oct 19 @ Nevada
Oct 26 Boise State
Nov 2 @ Hawaii
Nov 9 Louisiana Tech
Nov 16 @ Tulsa
Nov 23 Fresno State Pups
Do not play-— Rice
Head Coach— Fitz Hill
2001: Record 3-9
Offense Starters Returning--5
Defense Starters Returning--1
Analysis: I'd like to be able to write good things about this years San Jose State football program, but I just don't have much to write about!
The program is possibly looking at going Division I-AA in a couple years and that seems to be pretty much OK with most people in the South Bay area, unfortunatley.
With a school like Stanford across town and the Cal Bears just to the northeast, it's a difficult market. Not every Cal-State school plays Division I-A football. For instance:
Sacramento State has built a fine I-AA program and considering the football options available in that market (which are none unless you take a short drive across the border), Division I-AA would probably make even more sense for our beloved Spartans, yet, I am not 100% convinced the fight is over just yet.
Hardly anything returns from the worst defense in Division I-A football in 2001, and very little on offense. We'll talk about this more below.
The SJSU schedule starts out with only 2 home games before November and against teams the caliber of Washington, Illinois, and Ohio State.
Look out for fullback, Brandon Miles, (6-0, 250, SR), a converted defensive tackle. He had a great spring work out and looked productive enough to start. Competing for the fullback spot will be JC redshirt JONATHAN McDANIEL (6-0, 240, SR) and transfer Oscar Rigg (5-11, 215 lbs).
Lance Martin (5-10 203, SO) appears to have earned the starting job at tailback. Also look at for Lamar Ferguson (5-7, 155, SO) and Clarence Cunningham (5-10 169, SO).
5 ft 5 inch 143-pound Running Back Lamar Ferguson looks like the man to start at tailback, but it remains to be seen if he'll be able to stay healthy against the big schools early in the season.
Also keep an eye out for I'Lario Vital (5-11, 207, FR), and Trestin George ( 5-8, 187 FR); plus JC transfers Rayvon Johnson (5-10, 185 JR) and Damarcus Ingram (5-10, 210 JR).
Marcus Arroyo is a 2-year starter and may provide some fireworks. Meanwhile, the Spartans will succomb at the end to some pretty bad defeats.
Competeing for the QB job is redshirt sophomore Beau Pierce (6-4, 208) and JC transfer Scott Rislov (6-2, 216).
Both participated in spring practice, but neither impressed Hill to make the switch from Arroyo. Expect Arroyo to take the first snap this year at Arkansas State.
The wide recievers consist of Senior Charles Pauley (49 catches, 669 yards), Tuati Wooden (37 catches, 437 yards) and Juan Walden (14 catches and 114 yards). These two remind me alot of the "Young Guns" of the talent rich 1990 Spartan Team that smoked many teams late in the 4th quarter. It is rumored that Kendrick Starling may not join the team at all! Jamall Broussard (5-10, 190 JR) is also apparently missing in action for some reason.
The tight end position seems to be competitve with Marcus Helfman (6-4, 239 SR) and transfer Courtney Anderson (6-7 270 JR) shooting it out in practice for the starting position.
The offensive line only returns Tim Provost (6-6, 281, SR). Junior Joseph Hayes (6-4, 300, JR), a partial starter in 2001, will probably start at left guard; and LaMons Walker (6-3, 285, SR) won the starting center position.
JC transfer, Justin Arrington, (6-3 305 JR) will start at guard, and Jeff Gordon (6-5 295 JR) will start at tackle. Those fighting it out for starting spots in the rotation include: JC All America Elliott Tupea (6-3 292 JR), OC Charley Dehoney (6-2, 291), Ian White (6-2, 250, SO),John Toensfelt (6-7, 277, FR), Eric Olsen (6-4, 346, FR), Mark Manning (6-1, 280, FR), and Matt Cantu (6-3 290 FR).
Senior Mike Carr returns to the punting position, however, it would have been nice to draft a kicker with more "Ooomph".
Charles Pauley will get the nod at the return specialist for both punts and kick offs we assume.
The Defensive Line Projected Starters are:
Defensive end Chip Kimmich, Sr. - He saw plenty of action in a reserve making 19 tackles and a sack. He'll be considered the team's top pass rusher.
Defensive end Ethan Allen, Sr. - After beginning his career at tight end and then moving to middle linebacker, he'll start on one of the ends.
Defensive tackle Mike Beams, Sr. - A starter for most of last year, Beams made 16 tackles before getting pushed into a reserve role. The Spartans need the 291-pound senior to become a player.
Defensive tackle Kinji Green, RFr. - The 278-pound redshirt freshman's name is written in pencil on the depth chart as he'll likely be bumped this fall.
Top Backups include:
DT Eddie Brown, Jr. - It's his job for the taking this fall in the middle. The big JUCO All-America needs to make an instant impact. (It has been rumored that he may have gone AWOL however).
DT Jason Gustus, Jr. - The 298-pound JUCO transfer adds size to the line and is expected to instantly contend for the starting job.
DT Adonis Forrest, Sr. - He didn't play last year, but he's expected to see plenty of action this season as one of the team's biggest linemen.
DE Stephen Nash, Jr. - He'll battle Allen for one of the starting jobs on the end .Nash made 16 tackles last year.
Brown has to be a big-time player while Kimmich should be a decent end. Someone has to find a way to get to the passer.
Again, the rumor mill has stated that he may be a no-show, or transfered due to grades. Keep your chin up Spartan Fans!
The Linebackers Projected Starters are:
Luke LaHerran, Sr. - A starter at the beginning of last year, LaHerran was knocked out for the year after two games. He's healthy this season and should be one of the team's best linebackers on the outside.
Paul Okumu, Jr. - Okumu was injured all of last year and will return 100% to start in the middle. He has decent size and can run.
Brian Foreman, Sr. - Foreman made 24 tackles last year as a reserve and while he's one of the starters going into the fall, that could change instantly come fall.
The Top Backups here are:
Philip Perry, Jr. - The JUCO star should push for a job on the inside almost immediately. He's big and has great range.
Michael Smith, Jr. - After making 35 tackles last year, he'll be in the running for one of the outside jobs.
LaHerran and Okumu might be rusty, but if they're 100% the linebacking corps has the potential not to be the worst in the league.
In the Secondary are:
Cornerback Melvin Cook, Jr. - After making 52 stops last year as a safety, the junior is being moved to corner to allow the newcomers to contend for safety.
Cornerback Shaun Fletcher, Sr. - He's got the size, but he lacks the experience to guarantee he'll keep his job at one of the corners over Eric Wilson.
Free safety C.J. Arnold, Sr. - A career special teamer, he got his first shot at safety this spring.
Strong safety Gerald Jones, Jr. - The junior is probably the only player in the secondary who has a spot locked down. He looked sensational this spring picking off two passes in the spring game.
Top Backups here are:
Cornerback Eric Wilson, Jr. - He's expected to come in and play immediately this fall.
Safety Mario Vital, Jr. - The JUCO all-star should come in and find a spot somewhere in the secondary as soon as he arrives.
It's always scary when you have to count on incoming freshman to be contributors, but they can't be any worse than what the Spartans had last year.
Special Teams look like:
Placekicker Nick Gilliam, Sr. - He wasn't bad last season hitting 10 of 17 field goals going 2 of 7 from beyond 40 yards. He should be an asset this season.
Punter Michael Carr, Sr. - After breaking his foot, his stats went way down. He only averaged 36.2 yards per kick and put a mere eight boots inside the 20.
Kickoff and Punt Returners look like Charles Pauley, as he returned most of the kickoffs last year averaging 24 yards per return. He wasn't a bad punt returner either averaging 7.4 yards per return.
Pauley is a speedy return man and Gilliam is an average kicker, but Carr could seriously be replaced. Look for Fitz Hill to try a few "un-known" freshman at this spot as an experiment.
SpartanThunder.com predicts a 7-6 season, and possibly a birth in the SVFC Versus the Stanford Cardinal. (Spartans lose in a thrilla!)
Here is how we break down the W's and L's:
8/31 @ Arkansas St (W) 31 to 14
9/7 @ Washington (L) 42 to 14
9/14 @ Stanford (L) 52 to 28
9/21 @ Illinois (L) 28 to 21
(*)9/28-UTEP (W) 38 to 22
10/5 @ Southern Methodist (L) 33 to 29
10/12 @ Ohio St (L) 44 to 16
10/19 @ Nevada (W) 52 to 33
(*)10/26-Boise St (W) 38 to 32
11/2 @ Hawaii (W) 64 to 58
(*)11/9-Louisianna Tech (L) 33 to 3
11/16 @ Tulsa (W) 44 to 14
(*)11/23-Fresno St (W) 38 to 13
Looks like a Seven and Six season!
Now would'nt that be sumthin!